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14 June 2018 Photo iStock
Dealing with the trauma of sexual assault

University life is supposed to be one of the most enjoyable times of a person’s life. Unfortunately, for some this is the time they may fall victims to sexual assault.
 
The term sexual assault has shockingly become normalised in society and has become a common threat to university students. The University of the Free State (UFS) through its sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and sexual violence policy strongly condemns any form of sexual abuse. Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director at Student Counselling and Development (UFS) says the university cares for the health and wellbeing of students and provides necessary support for victims of sexual assault and trauma.
 
It is unfortunate that sexual assault comes with many misconceptions that often shift responsibility and blame from the perpetrator to the victim. “It is important to always remember that it is not your fault; do not blame yourself,” says Dr Barnaschone. Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health says sexual assault leaves psychological wounds and sometimes long-lasting health challenges. Such trauma can severely affect a person’s ability to cope with daily academic, social, professional, and personal responsibilities.
 
Any sexual violence is a crime and as a victim, you are not to blame. Healing is achieved when you start to believe that you are not responsible for what happened to you. Visit Helpguide.Org for more information on post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma recovery tips and other related topics.

On this video clip, Dr Barnaschone shares some guidelines to deal with sexual assault and trauma: 

News Archive

UFS staff and students clean campus together
2011-09-02

 

Kovsies are not black or white, we are green, says Prof. Jonathan Jansen, our Vice-Chancellor and Rector. Here are some of the students and staff who helped to pick up garbage on our Bloemfontein Campus.
Photo: Leonie Bolleurs

A group consisting of students, staff and members of the management team of the University of the Free State (UFS) proved that they are not only talking about sustainability and the importance of keeping the campus clean, but they actually put their words to action by taking up a garbage bag and helping to pick up garbage.

According to Ms Martie Bitzer, Head of the Sustainability Committee of the UFS, the UFS followed the lead of higher education throughout the world by joining the movement for sustainability and took the plunge in addressing sustainability issues with both short- and long-term planning. One of the short-term plans is to make staff and students aware of the importance of a “green” lifestyle. This week’s activities, including the picking up of garbage and planting a tree on the Bloemfontein Campus of the UFS, is the result thereof.

Prof. Jonathan Jansen, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of the UFS, who also helped to pick up garbage, told the group of staff and students that many universities around the world are implementing sustainability initiatives and are keeping their campuses clean, because they care for the environment. He thanked the group for their contribution to this process.

“By cleaning up around us, we show respect towards ourselves and towards our campus,” said Prof. Jansen.

To encourage students to keep the campus clean, Student Affairs at the UFS will launch a competition to see which residence can pick up the most garbage on 8 September 2011. A Clean Thakaneng Bridge Campaign will also be launched later on.
 

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